History of Gnosticism, Part I

Published on August 24th, 2009 — 12:00am

Islam is a universal religion applicable to everyone and every place on earth. There was no name given to a religion before, until Allah named it as Islam. Hence, we have had before Followers of the religion of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others but not a name of the religion. Islam is defined as, “Absolute Submission to the Will of Allah”.

This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.[1]

If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).[2]

O ye who believe! Enter into Islam whole-heartedly. [3]

Allah is the name of God in Arabic as Yehwah is the name of God to the Jews or Bhagwan is to the Hindus. However, “Allah” is the name given by God to Himself. Be that as it may, in Islam, Allah is the only one God and there is no other God except Him. He begets not nor is He begotten and there is none like Him. Other religions which address their God as Allah have, for all intents and purposes, subscribed to the aforesaid tenets. The belief in Allah as the only one God is obligatory on all Muslims.

“Verily, I am Allah: there is no god but I: so serve thou Me (only), and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise.[4]

Say, “He is Allah, The One and Only.[5]

He begetteth not, nor is He begotten.

And there is none like unto Him. [6]

Allah forgiveth not (the sin of) joining other gods with Him; but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this: one who joins other gods with Allah, hath strayed far, far away (from the Right).[7]

Muslim, as it is understood today, is a name given to a person who embraces the religion of Islam. People who are ignorance of Islam called them Mohammedan. In actual fact, Muslim refers to any person who professes that there is only one God.

It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation).[8]

As a Muslim, he is obliged to:

  1. Profess that there is no god except Allah and that Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessing be upon him) is the last prophet of Allah;
  2. Perform obligatory prayers five times a day;
  3. Fast during the whole month of Ramadhan (one of the months in Islamic calendar);
  4. Pay religious tithes; and
  5. Perform pilgrimage to Mecca, if he can afford it. [9]

The Beliefs obligatory upon him as a Muslim are:

  1. There is only one God (Allah);
  2. In all the Prophets of Allah (to name a few: Adam, Noah, Hood, Lot, Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (pbuh) who is the last prophet of Allah);
  3. In all the Angels of Allah (to name a few: Gabriel, Michael, Israel and others);
  4. In all the Books of Allah (to name a few: Torah, Bible and Quran);
  5. In the Judgment Day; and finally
  6. In Predestination. [10]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the Last Prophet as well as the Last Messenger chosen by Allah who was destined for the whole world. There was no prophet or messenger sent by Allah before for the whole world until Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Prophets sent before Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were for their respective people or nation but not for the whole world. It is obligatory for Muslims to believe that Muhammad (pbuh) is the last Prophet and Messenger of Allah. Islamic History shows that many new prophet or messenger after Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were rejected or killed.

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things. [11]

We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings, and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not. [12]

Say: “O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah, to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He that giveth both life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, who believed in Allah and His Words: follow him that (so) ye may be guided.” [13]

The parable of myself (Muhammad) and the parable of the Prophets is as the parable of the palace of which the construction has been made good but wherein the place of a brick has been left out. The sightseers went around it wondering at its good construction except for the place of the brick. It is I who closed the place of the brick. The construction has therefore been completed by me and the messengers have come to an end with me.[14]

He (Muhammad) will not come in your time but will come some years after you when my (Jesus) gospel shall be annulled insomuch that there shall be scarcely thirty faithful. At that God will have mercy on the world and so He will send His messenger, over whose head will rest a white cloud, whereby he shall be known of one elect of God and shall be by him manifested to the world. He shall come with great power against ungodly and shall destroy idolatry upon earth. And it rejoiceth me because that through him our God shall be known and glorified and I shall be known to be true and he will execute vengeance against those who say that I am more than a man. Verily I say to you that the moon shall minister sleep to him in his boyhood and when he shall grown up he shall take her in his hands. Let the world beware of casting him out because he shall slay the idolaters for many more were slain by Moses, the servant of God, and Joshua, who spared not the cities which they burnt and slew the children; for to an old wound would applied. He shall come with truth more clear than that of all the prophets and shall re[prove him who useth the world amiss. The towers of the city of our father who all greet one another for joy; and so when idolatry shall be seen to fall to the ground and confess me a man like other men, verily I say you the messenger of God shall be come. [15]

It is true that God hath so promised (to send a Messiah) but indeed I am not he, for he is made before me and shall come after me. [16]

The name of the Messiah is admirable for God himself gave him the name when He created his soul and placed it in a celestial splendour. God said, “Wait Mohammed, for thy sake I will create paradise, the world, and a great multitude of creatures whereof I make thee a present insomuch that whoso shall bless thee shall be blessed, and whoso shall curse shall be accursed. When I send thee into the world I shall send thee as my messengers of salvation and thy word shall be true insomuch that heaven and earth shall fail but thy faith shall never fail. Mohammed is his blessed name. [17]

The Quran is the Holy Book of the Muslims. By divine revelation, Allah sent down the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) received the divine revelation and he in turn repeated them to his Companions. His Companions dutifully memorised them and later recorded them. These records form the Quran today. The authenticity of the Quran is beyond reproach because in every generation, from the Prophet’s time until now, there are people who memorised the whole Quran word by word. They are, the Hafiz. To this end, Allah even threw in an open challenge for Mankind and Genies to make an equal of the Quran. To date, the open challenge still stands. The Quran consists of thirty chapters and all are but recorded divine revelation. Allah had promised to protect it.

[1] Al Maidah (5):3

[2] Ali Imran (3):85

[3] Al Baqarah (2):208.

[4] Thaha (20):14

[5] Al Ikhlas (112):1-2

[6] Al Ikhlas (114):3

[7] An Nisa (4):116

[8] Al Hajj (22):78. Revelation here refers to the Quran.

[9] Terjemahan Sahih  Muslim Bk. 1, 4 (1994).

[10] Terjemahan Sahih  Muslim Bk. 1, 5 (1994).

[11] Al Ahzab (33):40

[12] Saba (34):28.

[13] Al Araaf (7):158.

[14] Al Hadis Vol. 4, 318 (1994).

[15] Gospel of Barnabas, 91-92 (?).

[16] Gospel of Barnabas, 121 (?).

[17] Gospel of Barnabas, 91-92 (?).

[18] Al Hijr (15):9.

[19] As Sajdah (32):2

[20] Aj Najm (58):4

[21] Yunus (10):37

[22] Yunus (10):38

[23] Imam Ghazali, Ihya Ulumiddin Bk. 1, 94-97 (1981).

[24] Imam Ghazali, Minhajul Abidin, 24 (1997).

[25] Al Quraisy An Naisaibury, Risatul Qusyairiah, 8 (1997); Syeikh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani, Sirrur Asrar, 17 (1997).

[26] Terjemahan Sahih Muslim Bk.1, 28 (1994).

[27] Terjemahan Sunan At Tirmidzi Bk.4, 237 (1993)

[28] Al Araaf (7):172.

[29] Al Araaf (7):173.

[30] Terjemahan Sahih  Muslim Bk. 4, 865 (1994).

[31]Terjemahan Sunan At Tirmidzi Bk 3, 635636 (1993);Sahih Al Bukhari Vol. 8, 389-390 (1984).

[32] Terjemahan Sahih  Muslim Bk. 4, 228 (1994).

[33] Al Araaf (7):16-17.

[34] Al Hadis Vol 4, 200 (1994)

[35] Ali Imran (3):103

[36] An Nisa (4):83

[37] An Anbiya (21):25

[38] Ibrahim (14):4

[39] Al Ar’aaf (7):59

[40] Al Ar’aaf (7):65

[41] Al Ar’aaf (7):73

[42] Al Ar’aaf (7):85

[43] AL Ankabut (29):16

[44] Asy Syuaraa (26):161-162

[45] Thaha (20):13-14

[46] Al Maidah (5):72.

[47] Al Araaf (7):158.

[48] Yasin (36):30.

[49] Ali Imran (3):181.

[50] Ibrahim (14):13.

[51] Id, 314.

[52] Zainal Ariffin Abbas, op cit, 51; Mohd Sulaiman Hj Yasin, Mengenal Ilmu Tasawuf (Pengantar), 30 (1997).

[53] Akram Diya Al-Umari, Madinan Society at the time of the Prophet Vol.1, 86 (1991).

[54] Al Israa (17):90-93

[55] Hud (11):64.

[56] Asy Syuaraa (26):44-47.

[57] An Naml (27):44-45.

[58] Ali Imran (3):49.

[59] Al Hijr (15):9.

[60] Al Anaam (6):115.

[61] Shaad (38):5.

[62] Asy Syura (42):13.

[63] Asy Syuaraa (26):119-121.

[64] Al Ahqaaf (46):24 –25. The calamity on Hood’s  tribe.

[65] Al Araaf (7):77-78.

[66] Al Araaf (7):83-84. The calamity on Lut’s tribe.

[67] Hud (11):94-95.

[68] Al Anbiyaa (21):107

[69] Al Anfaal (8):33.

[70] Al Baqarah (2):75.

[71] Fazlul Karim, Al Hadis Vol.4, 293-294  (1994).

[72] Syeikh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani, Pembukaan Kepada Yang Ghaib, 95 (1990).

[73] Al Araaf (7):181

[74] Abu Al Wafa Al Ghanimi, Perkembangan Tasawwuf Islam, 19 (1996).

[75] Muhammad Abdul Haq Ansari, Sufism and Shariah, 211 (1986).

[76] M M Sharif, Sejarah Islam Dari Segi Filsafah, 311 (1994).

[77] Hamka, Perkembangan Tasauf Dari Abad Ke Abad, 110 (1976)

[78] Abu Al Wafa Al Ghanimi Al Taftazani, Perkembangan Tasawwuf Islam, 19 (1996).

[79] Aboebakar Atjeh,  Pengantar Sejarah Sufi dan Tasauf, 49 (1977).

[80] Aboebakar Atjeh,  Pengantar Sejarah Sufi dan Tasauf, 49 (1977).

[81] Muhammad Abdul Rauf, The Muslim Mind, 212  (1994).

[82] Hamka, Perkembangan Tasauf Dari Abad Ke Abad, 110 (1976)

[83] Aboebakar Atjeh, Pengantar Sejarah Sufi dan Tasauf, 49 (1977).

[84] Muhammad Abdul Haq Ansari, Sufism and Shariah, 211 (1986).

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